The temples of Angkor in Cambodia are a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. In this guide, I break down how to visit the magnificent Angkor Wat in 2 days.
Plan your trip to Angkor Wat
👩🏻 Best guided tours to Angkor Wat
- 2 days in Angkor Wat (⭐ 5/5)
- Angkor Wat Full-Day Sunrise Tour (⭐ 4.8/5)
- 1, 3 or 7-day Entrance Ticket (⭐ 5/5)
🏡 Where to stay in Siem Reap
I remember the first time I visited Angkor Wat. It was in 2006 and I knew absolutely nothing about the site. Which temples to visit, how to get around, photography tips and the story….
I had no clue.
This time, however, I read up on the story and tips. And now..
I’VE BEEN WOOED!
In total, there are more than 1,000 temples spread out over an area of 400 square kilometers. As you can imagine, there are way too many to explore. That’s why I’ve made this post with the most popular temples.
In my other post about Angkor Wat, you’ll get all the information about prices, dangers, how to get around, and much more.
For now, here are the top temples of Angkor Wat in 2 days.
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2 days in Angkor Wat
About Angkor Wat
Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is a top bucket list destination in Southeast Asia.
Situated near Siem Reap, this vast 250-square-mile complex, made of sandstone, dates back to between the 9th and 15th centuries.
It’s the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Angkor Wat itinerary
Angkor Wat in 2 days
Wondering how long to visit Angkor Wat temple? I always recommend visiting Angkor Wat in 2 days to fully explore the most important temples without feeling overwhelmed.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat (only if you’re visiting during high season), Bayon, Ta Prohm temple, Baphuon
Angkor Thom gate, Angkor Wat, Preah Khan, Ta Som, sunset at Phnom Bakheng
What to see in Angkor
With more than 1,000 temples, it can be a jungle to figure out which places to visit in Angkor. These are the highlights you shouldn’t miss:
Sunrise & sunset
You can watch the sunrise from Angkor Wat (the most popular) or Srah Srang and the sunset from Phnom Bakheng (the most popular), Angkor Wat, or Pimeanakas
Trees growing from temple ruins
Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Ta Som
Bayon, Angkor Thom gates, Banteay Kdeo, Preah Khan temple, Ta Prohm
Bakong, Bayon, Terrace of the Leper King, Banteay Srey, Angkor Wat
How to go to Angkor Wat
These are the best ways to reach Angkor Wat from Siem Reap:
- Hire a tuk-tuk driver for a local experience (ask your hotel)
- Book a guided tour for in-depth insights
- Take a taxi for comfort and flexibility.
I suggest taking a tour of Angkor Wat. The guides really know their stuff, and they show you the best spots while sharing exciting stories and history.
This Angkor Wat 2 day tour from Siem Reap includes everything – sunrise, sunset, and all the best temples!
Book here – The best Angkor Wat tour package (⭐ 5/5)
How to buy Angkor Wat tickets
You have two options when it comes to buying tickets for Angkor Wat. Either buy them directly at the ticket office or through Viator or GetYourGuide.
The ticket office is located on Road 60, 4km from Siem Reap.
Since there’s no 2-day pass, I recommend getting the 3-day pass – even if you’re not planning on spending 3 days at the Angkor Wat complex. It’s cheaper and more convenient than getting two 1-Day Passes.
The best part? You don’t need to use it on consecutive days. You can take a break in between.
You can also buy an entrance ticket online, which saves you a trip to the ticket office.
Through Viator, you can book a tour with a tour guide – which is what I recommend. This 2-day tour is the perfect option, which the ratings also reflect!
With 2 days in Angkor Wat, begin your first day with a sunrise at Angkor Wat. Then head to Bayon, Ta Prohm and Baphuon.
Behold…. The mighty Angkor Wat.
This massive three-tiered pyramid is crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from the ground.
Also, this particular spot is where you’d be watching the sunrise with a gazillion other tourists (don’t say I didn’t warn you). You’ll need to be here at 5.15 am!
I haven’t had the pleasure myself, but supposedly it’s only really good twice a year. If I were you and I visited during the high season (January – March), I’d still go for it though. Who knows, you might be lucky.
Afterwards, you can climb the towers and catch a view of the entire site. The steps are insanely steep, but the view is absolutely worth it.
Bayon should be the next stop on your tour. This temple group is known for the unique carvings of faces, which is classic Khmer art and architecture.
Bayon has 37 towers and almost every one of them has four carved faces. It’s debated who the faces represent, but presumably, it’s Buddha or the king who built them (Jayavarman VII).
The highlight of Bayon is the bas-reliefs on the exterior walls near the stone faces. Also, note the unfinished carvings on other walls.
Bayon is surrounded by high jungle which can make it a bit dark for photography around sunrise and sunset.
Have you seen this photo before?
You guys, it’s from Tomb Raider. Before starring in an Angelina Jolie movie, Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple built for the mother of King Jayavarman VII. Today it has been largely left to the clutches of the living jungle.
So, here’s a thought:
If you see only two temples, it should be Bayon and…. Ta Prohm.
I know, I know. I’m supposed to say Angkor Wat, but… I can’t.
Angkor Wat is tremendous. Extraordinary even. And it’s not to be missed. But the truth is that while Angkor Wat was breathtaking, huge, and crowded, I was just more impressed with Ta Prohm.
It had that Indiana Jones vibe going on; buried in the jungle and all. Also, I’m really fascinated by trees growing into temples. Aren’t you?
Inside the walls of Angkor Thom, you’ll also find Baphuon temple, which is a temple mountain built as a state temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Note the unique animal carvings at the walkway entrance and the impressively large reclining Buddha on the west side.
By now you’re probably pretty templed out. And if you can’t stand the thought of one more jungle temple, that’s alright. It’s probably really hot and humid, too.
I know the sticky feeling.
You can head back to your hotel in Siem Reap now and continue temple exploring tomorrow or the day after.
First visit of the day should be Preah Khan.
This beautiful temple is full of carvings, passages, and photo opportunities. Like architecturally similar to Ta Prohm, this temple is also nearly swallowed by massive roots of huge trees.
And oooh, we like those.
Angkor Thom Gate
Only one kilometer east of Ta Prohm, you’ll find Angkor Thom (Big Angkor); a 3-kilometer walled city with five entrances.
Each gate is crowned with four giant faces as you see in the photo below. Bayon is at the center of the city.
Ta Som is the most distant temple in the Grand Circuit. It’s definitely worth a visit, but it takes a while to get there by tuk-tuk (30 minutes).
At Ta Som, you should look for the apsara carvings, stone face carvings, the jungle temple atmosphere, and the famous Ta Som gateway with roots of an old banyan tree.
Photography tip: Ta Som is best photographed in the afternoon, so visit after lunch.
Banteay Srei temple is famous for its pink stone and fine carvings. Built in 967 CE, it’s small but known for its detailed artistry.
The temple is dedicated to Shiva and it’s called ‘Citadel of the Women’ because the carvings are so delicate, that people think they were made by a woman.
Sunset at Phnom Bakheng
Catch the sunset at Phnom Bakhen, which is the highest temple in the Angkor Archeological Park.
This is where you’ll get the best panoramic views of the whole area.
FAQ – Angkor Wat in 2 days
Is two days enough for Angkor Wat?
Yes, two days at Angkor Wat is enough if you plan well.
Focus on the main temples like Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. Start early to beat the crowds and the heat. Use the afternoons for smaller, less crowded temples.
It’s a tight schedule, but you can cover the highlights. Remember, a good guide can enrich the experience.
How much time do I need at Angkor Wat?
Ideally, spend 2-3 days at Angkor Wat. This gives you enough time to see the major sites without rushing.
On day one, explore the iconic Angkor Wat and nearby temples.
On day two, visit further out places like Banteay Srei. Use the third day for anything you missed or to revisit favorites. This pace allows for a more in-depth experience.
Is 3 days enough for Angkor Wat?
Absolutely, 3 days at Angkor Wat is a good amount of time. This gives you a thorough look without overdoing it.
Is 1 day enough for Angkor Wat?
One day at Angkor Wat is tight but doable for some of the highlights.
Focus on the main temples: Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm. Start early to maximize your time, and be prepared for a busy day. You won’t see everything, but you’ll cover the essentials.
More posts about Cambodia you might like
- How to plan your Angkor Wat itinerary, guide, and tickets
- 19 super fun things to do in Siem Reap, Cambodia
- My Review: The Khmer Apsara Dance Show in Siem Reap
- Hotel review: Angkor Palace Resort Spa, Siem Reap
- Siem Reap War Museum – All you need to know
- 14 amazing reasons to visit Cambodia